Instructables

How to build wall mounted bookshelves for less than $100

Featured
Picture of How to build wall mounted bookshelves for less than $100
Are you one of those who reads a few pages of a book then throw it on the floor before falling asleep? Are you one of those who stumble on the pile of books and magazines on the floor and hit your nose against the bed posts? That's me! So, I needed a simple bookshelf, mounted high enough for me to be able to put books on it. Ikea used to make a wall mounted shelf in the Billy series. They do not have it any more. Come to think of it, Billy was not wide enough to hold books. So, I decided to make one myself. The interesting part is that when you watch Norm Abrams or Bob Villa doing complicated projects, they make it too easy. However, for you and I, who have a day job doing something else, measuring 5/16th of an inch requires thinking. I guess, what I am saying is that you perhaps can relate to me more because I make ton of mistakes while doing these projects, and that's the fun part. I am sure if you look at the finished product, you will agree that I could not have used those shelf brackets from local Home Depot and mounted a few shelves for less that $20. They brackets simply are too ugly and the shelves do not have book ends. Okay, so now that you are convinced that you need a few of these bookshelves for you, let us move on to the next step.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
poonies1 year ago
I love your design. You have done a great job explaining the process. A person like me with little woodworking skills can do this. Thanks so much!
DrDick3 years ago
Seems much more simple than other plans I have seen.

How much more difficult or costly would it be to make this shelf in clear heavy plastic instead of wood? drdick@dr.com
AntonioMDC3 years ago
given the beefy construction, you don't need those brackets—they will just end up mutilating the bottoms of your books :( as well as spoiling the smooth modern lines of your design. if you cut all your butt-end joints at 45° your glue joints will be way stronger than the brackets, though that can be an annoying chore and probably not necessary. actually your shelf is probably strong enough right now, as it stands, minus the brackets. think about it like this: the capacity of that shelf, before glue or the divider, just based on the end caps being screwed on, is something like 6 times the shearing force needed to make one screw fail. then add the pullout strength of all the screws coming up from below; and then you have the glue, which, as the old commercial used to demonstrate, is stronger than the wood itself! so, unless the 4 screws attaching it to the wall are a lot stronger than the ones holding it together, any further reinforcement is overkill. of course you could use more/stronger screws into the wall, this stout little shelf certainly has the capacity to take the extra weight.

if you want a feeling of extra security you could cut your end pieces so that the grain runs diagonally (from the top back to the front bottom corner, not from the top front to the back bottom.) make them the same size as the divider (will require a larger board to cut them from, or let the leading corner be cut off, won't hurt the strength, just a different look) and screw them from below and behind as you did with the divider. this way will both give you stronger glue joints than gluing onto end grain and somewhat hide the screw heads on the back and bottom. this is probably the strongest connection you can make without some sort of proper joinery involving fancy cutting.

however, if you are really attached to metal reinforcement, you could counter sink the brackets with a chisel or router (too fiddly) or put the brackets on the outside so they go behind and under (lumpy but the book are safe) or get the kind that are flat L shapes (much stronger than the kind you are using now, not that it is needed) and hide them between the end caps and the shelf/back, screwing through them as you put the end pieces on (still a bit lumpy if you don't want to cut notches for them, but it might be possible to hide the gaps with caulk or wood putty before painting.)



kabira (author)  AntonioMDC3 years ago
Thanks for the detailed comment. I acknowledge I designed the shelves to take load. To be honest, I am glad that I did, because I have a lot more stuff on them now, other than the books :). I liked your notch idea a lot. I will keep that in mind next time I make them.
LP814 years ago
Please note that depending on your lumber yard you go to - 99% of the time, a 1x10 is actually 3/4" by 9 1/4" not 9 3/4"
SkipMurphy4 years ago
pretty cool idea! I'm making something similar but i'm going to build this upside down and put hooks underneath. I'm only storing towels so it doesn't have to be as beefy! thanks for the idea and the how-to.
freckleface5 years ago
Uh, seriously why $100? I almost didn't read it because that's way to much to spend on a shelf or two. I just designed and made a play table for my toddler with scrap materials from another project and made it for like $5 (purchased red spray paint and a dowel). Why not plywood? Are you trying to put 4" hardcover text books on this? Just use scrap plywood or planks. If you want a more finished look on the front, spend a few pennies on a simple molding. Other than those two comments, this looks pretty nice an easy. I plan on making some (with plywood and altered dimensions) to hold my kids' DVDs.
Prograss6 years ago
Nice design and a good idea but I don't understand why a few planks of wood and a few screws would cost 100$
yeah, the materials are all pretty small, and even buying them brand new you shouldn't be looking at more than 30 bucks. You could probably get the stuff from the scrap bin or do some dumpster diving for materials for free.
lucas94676 years ago
i like it. very cool
jnixon6 years ago
Or, buy this for $20 from Ikea?
kabira (author)  jnixon6 years ago
No way dude! Ikea BJÖRKEN is only 5 7/8" deep and 24" wide. You want to hold the books not CDs.
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!